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I'm pretty much a newb when it comes to freelancing, I'm looking to start a portfolio for my individual projects only I haven't done any and I'm kind of stuck on where to start. I have assisted in several CMS and forum implementations along with a few Wordpress sites, but haven't had a chance to build and launch a site entirely independently.

I've found that clients on sites like elance.com and freelancer.com generally aren't interested in what you have assisted in, they want to see projects of your own. That being said, I have been trying to find people interested in a site built and launched by myself with no obligation or charge, just so I can have a few pieces for my portfolio. Any suggestions as to where to look for new projects that aren't tied to rates and previous work experience?

Thanks

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3 Answers

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One good idea would be to do a mock site for a subject you're interested in (favourite sports team? a band you like? a hobby you have?). Whilst it may not be paying work, you'll find that your interest in the subject will help you produce some good work. Plus it shows initiative, which employers always like to see.

Best of luck with it all.

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Thanks for the advice –  Tribbey Dec 22 '11 at 20:38
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Great answers Lese and HeyHudson!

I just have a little something to add onto what they've already said. If you build your own website, then add either copies or links to the other sites that you've done, it can add to the self-advertising that companies are interested in. If you just give a list of links to a potential customer, chances are you're not going to get the bid.

What would also help you, and other people, is to Google Maps local businesses (preferably small independant ones), look for a website link and find ways you could improve it. Using this method will help you develop your professional writing and correspondance skills on your way to establishing a great portfolio. The local businesses (Who have no budget for a big, expensive website) will be thankful of the free / low cost site, and you'll be thankful for another project to put underneath your portfolio.

Good luck!

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As HeyHudson mentioned, what's wrong with developing your own site? Why does it have to be someone else's site? If you're not asking for any money, then what difference does it really make?

If you want to build a site for a recognizable brand for the promotional value, you're still going to need a strong portfolio first before any reputable company will hire you to build their site—even if you're doing it for free.

That said, there are a ton of small-time open source projects run by independent teams of only 2~10 people who would love to get any sort of help designing/developing their websites. Though a good number of these projects eventually fizzle out or are abandoned.

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